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Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
PW2019 Adult #32: PRAYERS FOR THE RED CITY (LGBTQ+ Science Fiction)
Emilee Martell
Mentored by:
Ren Hutchings and Kerbie Addis
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
LGBTQ+ Science Fiction
Word Count:


A haven for the wealthy but a nightmare for the poor, Ecthellion is a lumen-powered city of technological dreams. When a power-hungry billionaire reveals an invention that could tear the world apart, three unlikely allies — an anxious social worker, an exiled gangster, and a soldier determined to prove herself — must set aside their entangled histories to fight back.



From where Nico slouched in the humid half-dark of the tavern, his city was a red glow on the horizon like a fallen star, almost lost to the night and the window’s grimy glass. Here, miles from Ecthellion, the moon glowed like a lantern behind lacy clouds, but its beauty meant nothing to him. Despite the heat, Nico kept his sleeves pulled down. No one here knew where he’d come from. No need to change that with one very obvious scar.

Kerosene lamplight shone on the grins of the face cards Nico was holding: two liars, two thieves, a lord, and a hangman. He laid them down.


The men around him exploded into curses. Once, that would’ve made Nico lean back and grin like his hangman. Now, he just picked up the ante-cup and plucked out the sticky notes inside. Two hundred; pitiful for a man who’d played tables where the stakes were diamond necklaces. But Nico was grudgingly grateful nonetheless. Eight months into his exile, his plan to return was almost complete. He just needed the smugglers’ fee.

“Good game, gentlemen.” He looked at the scowls around him and smiled disarmingly. “Don’t worry. I’ll come back and lose it next week.”

The banter tasted like sand. Nico hated this, hated playing the cheery, deferential gambler. He wanted people to blanch at the sight of him, fight him, pay him tribute. He wanted his old glory.

He wanted Ecthellion.

14 responses to “PW2019 Adult #32: PRAYERS FOR THE RED CITY (LGBTQ+ Science Fiction)”

  1. Naomi Davis says:

    What a clear and sharp main character. I desperately want to read more. I’d love to see this. ndavis@bookendsliterary.com – Please attach the full manuscript and synopsis along with your query, and include #PitchWars in the subject line.

  2. John Cusick says:

    Hi Emilee, I love what I’ve read so far! Could you please send me the full manuscript? You can reach me at john [@] foliolit.com. Looking forward to connecting.


    What a vivid opening! I’d love to read more. Please put ‘Pitch Wars Requested’ in your subject line and send the full manuscript and query letter to me at rebecca@defliterary.com. Ms can be an attachment. I look forward to reading more. Thanks so much!

  4. Quressa Robinson says:

    Congrats on making it through the editing rounds with your mentor! I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to check out everyones showcase samples. Based on what I’ve read so far, I’d love to see more. Please query me at this link (QueryMe.online/QueryQuressa/PW20192020) and follow the directions. If more than one NLA agent requests work from you it is okay to query more than one of us, just give us a heads-up. Good luck!

  5. Ginger Clark says:

    I would love to take a look at this. Can you email me the first fifty pages as either a PDF or DOCX or RTF? Put the words “Pitchwars 2020 request” in your subject line. Thank you so much!

  6. Dorian Maffei says:

    I enjoyed your pitch and excerpt! I would be thrilled to read more of this. You may submit via my online submission form:


  7. Kerstin Wolf says:

    I don’t think I’ve truly lived until I have read a story with a social worker, exiled gangster, and a soldier all working together. I can imagine the interactions already! I would love to read the full manuscript. If you think we might be a good match, please submit your full manuscript using this link: QueryMe.online/kerstinwolf/Pitch_Wars

  8. Tamara Kawar says:

    Hi Emilee,

    I’d love to read more of PRAYERS FOR THE RED CITY! Could you please send the full manuscript as a Word doc to tkawar[at]icmpartners[dot]com? Please make sure to include “PW2019” in your subject line.

    Thank you!


  9. Jordy Albert says:

    I would love to take a look! Please send a query along with your full manuscript as a Word attachment and #Pitchwars in the subject line to me at jordy@thebookeralbertagency.com. Thanks!

  10. Sami Isman says:

    Hi, I’d love to read further! Please send the pitch letter, a short bio, and the first 50 pages in the body of the email to sisman@sjga.com with the subject line “#PItchWars Submission – PRAYERS FOR THE RED CITY – Emilee Martell”.

  11. Bridget Smith says:

    I’d love to take a look! Please send the query (in the body) and the full manuscript (as an attachment) to querybridget@awfulagent.com, with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!

  12. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Emilee,

    I love the title! Please send the full manuscript with your bio and complete synopsis (all in one Word document) to sandy@lperkinsagency.com. I look forward to read more.

    Sandy Lu
    L. Perkins Agency

  13. Cortney Radocaj says:

    Hi Emilee,

    I adore your premise and your first pages and would love to see more!!

    Please submit the first 50 pages of PRAYERS FOR THE RED CITY, along with your query and synopsis, here:


    Please also make sure to put “Pitch Wars” in the referral line or mention that I requested here in your query.

    I look forward to reading! 😊

    Warm Regards,

    Cortney Radocaj
    Associate Agent
    Belcastro Agency

  14. Em Lysaght says:

    This sounds fantastic, I would love to read more. Please submit your first three chapters, synopsis, and query letter (and remind me of your Pitchwars pitch in the query) at this link: http://queryme.online/emlysaght